Author: Deborah Weiss

Deborah Weiss is a freelance dance writer and critic, based in London. Royal Ballet School trained and a former senior soloist with London Festival Ballet and Bayerisches Staatsballett, she began writing in 1993 whilst living in Southern Germany. She has written for a number of publications including Dancing Times, The Dancer and Dance Europe.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in the Tuesday section of Woolf Works.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★✰✰   Wayne McGregor’s first full-length creation for the Royal Ballet, Woolf Works, inspired by Virginia Woolf, remains one of his best works to date.

Christopher Harrison & Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s The Rite of Spring.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Rite of Spring & The Fairy’s Kiss – streamed archive recordings of 2017 performance

With one common factor, music by Igor Stravinsky, Scottish Ballet (SB) deliver two excellent and very contrasting performances which were filmed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in 2017.

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Fille mal gardée – streamed archive recording of 2005 performance

★★★★★   If you want an antidote to any miserable lockdown mood, La Fille mal gardée cannot fail to lift your spirits and allow you to marvel at some really first-rate dancing.

Marianela Núñez.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Marianela Núñez on one of her fav ballets, La Fille mal gardée, and life under lockdown

Marianela Núñez talks about one of her favourite ballets, “La Fille mal gardée”, and life under lockdown, which for Marianela has been in Argentina. “La Fille mal gardee”, one of the most loved works in the Royal Ballet repertoire, streams this Friday, 12 June, from 19:00 BST

Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Cellist – streamed recording

★★★★✰   Cathy Marston has achieved much in bringing the life of Jacqueline du Pré to the ballet stage and perhaps one of the things that becomes even clearer with repeated viewings, is that the music and the dance are inextricably linked.

BBC flyer for Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet.© BBC. (Click image for larger version)

Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet – BBC documentary

“If you missed ‘Men at the Barre – Inside the Royal Ballet’: a look behind the scenes at the male ballet dancers in the company, then do take the time to catch up on BBC iPlayer.”

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernández in Swan Lake.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Swan Lake – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★✰✰   I do wonder why ENB chose this particular (acceptable but sometimes subdued) recording to stream, when we are all suffering from live performance withdrawal symptoms and this company so often produces spectacular performances, sending audiences away in raptures.

Natalia Osipova in Anastasia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Anastasia – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Osipova inhabits the role of Anna Anderson with gruelling sincerity. She appears deranged from the beginning with close-up camera angles revealing a depth of despair that is tremendously affecting.

Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Reel Adventures festival: Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man

★★★★✰   It doesn’t get much steamier than Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man, the third of his productions to be presented and screened on Sky Arts during lockdown.

New Adventures in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Reel Adventures festival: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet

★★★★✰   Performances across the board are stupendous, reminding us that interpretations evolve and change, and do not disappoint.

Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Ann Whitley and Merle Park at the Voices of Spring masterclass.© Rachel Hollings. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Ashton Rediscovered Masterclass: Voices of Spring, coached by Merle Park and Wayne Eagling

For anyone with an interest in the machinations of bringing a difficult pas de deux to performance standard, this was an experience to cherish.

Isaac Hernandez, Shiori Kase, Joseph Caley & ENB artists in Harold Lander's Etudes.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – 70th Anniversary Gala – London

★★★★✰   For those of us that have been involved with the company, no matter how small a part, it is clear that the ‘happy family’ that is English National Ballet, reveres and appreciates all who have been part of its 70 year existence.

Yijing Zhang as the Snow Fairy and Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Waltz of the Snowflakes in The Nutcracker.© Andrew Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   In spite of all the problems with performing a proscenium arch ballet in an arena setting with a purpose-built stage, it is no less magical than any other production and in some ways, it works advantageously.

Edward Watson and Olga Smirnova in McGregor + Mugler.© Sasha Gusov. (Click image for larger version)

MuzArts – Radio & Juliet, Faun, McGregor + Mugler – London

★★✰✰✰   There was certainly some spectacle and some good dancing, and not just from the big stars. However, the most heavily promoted piece and world premiere was an excruciating fifteen minutes of disappointment…

Ballet du Rhin in Les Beaux Dormants.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet du Rhin – Les Beaux Dormants – London

Le Ballet de L’Opéra national du Rhin – Ballet du Rhin Les Beaux dormants (The Sleeping Beauties) ★★★✰✰ London, Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, 21 November 2019 Gallery of pictures by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Rambert2 in Andrea Miller's Sama.© Stephen Wright. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert2 – Terms and Conditions, Sin, Sama – London

★★★✰✰   Absolutely first rate dancing with rather mixed choreography…

Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven's 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol.© Guillaume Rabgui. (Click image for larger version)

Breakin’ Convention: Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven – 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol – London

★★★✰✰   Okur’s style of movement is highly distinctive – as if locking and popping have had the jerkiness removed and replaced with something altogether more silky.

English National Ballet in Giselle.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – London

★★★★★   Everything about this production is topical, very real and will probably be so for many years to come. Absolutely five stars to the company…

Michael Jackson Jr in Jamar Roberts Members Don't Get Weary.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Programme C: Ounce of Faith, Members Don’t Get Weary, Ella, Revelations – London

★★★★✰   Having watched the company since childhood, I find it is impossible not to instantly appreciate the sheer beauty and energy they radiate…

Two Husbands by Daniela Cardim - Camino Llonch, Alexander Nuttall, Marianne Allen, Aitor Viscarolasaga Lopez, Kevin Bhoyroo, Marta Rivero de Miranda, Dean Rushton.© Deborah Jaffe Photography. (Click image for larger version)

New English Ballet Theatre – New Works – London

★★★✰✰   In the event, the levels of polish and invention were quite remarkable given the circumstances.

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